Article posted on October 17, 2014
Irrigation-the Lifeblood of Southern Alberta
Irrigation development in Alberta totals in excess of 1.6 million acres and represents two-thirds of all irrigation development in Canada. Over 98 percent of Alberta’s irrigation is found in southern Alberta within the South Saskatchewan River Basin and the Milk River Basin watersheds.
Thanks to irrigation, southern Alberta contributes almost 20 percent of the province’s gross agricultural production on five percent of Alberta’s cultivated land. It is estimated that the direct and indirect impact of irrigation is worth about $5 billion annually to the Alberta economy. However, the value of irrigation goes beyond economics. It’s the very lifeblood of southern Alberta as irrigation provides a source of safe drinking water, supports environmentally sensitive wildlife habitats and provides some of Alberta’s best lakes and reservoirs for recreational use.
"Thanks to irrigation" is an initiative of the Alberta Irrigation Projects Association. The AIPA is an organization of southern Alberta irrigation farmers made up of 13 separate irrigation districts. The association’s goal is to increase the level of understanding of the value of irrigation to the Province of Alberta and ensure appropriate stewardship and conservation of water. Water is vital to life, the environment and the social and economic well-being of southern Alberta. Ensuring water’s wise use, while at the same time promoting the benefits of southern Alberta’s irrigation infrastructure, are key activities of the AIPA and its members.
Last Updated: Friday, October 17, 2014